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The debate continues on the merger of XM (XMSR ) and Sirius (SIRI ) Satellite Radio as the case again comes before the Senate Committee on Commerce for round four since its original proposition in February. Opponents argue that the merger will create a monopoly, leaving a sole provider for satellite service to consumers. This, they argue, will lead to increased prices and decreased content. Advocates argue that the merger is necessary in order to compete against other technologies, including terrestrial radio, MP3 players, CD/DVD etc. The inference is that the battle between the two small companies for the limited audience is splitting the market and preventing its advance against the other technologies.



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Will Black Silicon Light Up Your Solar Portfolio?
Written by Eben Esterhuizen   
Sometimes the best scientific discoveries are made by accident. "We were doing research on the chemical reactions on metal surfaces and, on a hunch, I said let's look at semiconductors, without a clear plan," said Eric Mazur, a physicist at Harvard University, about an experiment done in 1998. A decade later, it looks like his accidental discovery may revolutionize solar technology.

Southern California Edison (EIX) Could Give Solar Industry a Big Boost
Written by Miranda Marquit   
In what is likely to be the biggest expansion of renewable power, Souther California Edison (EIX) plans to put solar panels on warehouse roofs. The move is expected to provide about 250 megawatts of power -- all of it from renewable energy. Such a plan would be expected to accomplish two things:
TSL: Greater Transparency Could Spark Near-Term Rally
Written by Eben Esterhuizen   
Solar stocks have seen a sharp pullback since the start of 2008, and short-term rallies from current levels should be expected.

Upcoming catalysts for near-term rallies include the announcement of new supply deals, better than expected earnings results, short squeezes and the potential for supportive legislation. The more important question investors will need to ask: Are solar fundamentals deteriorating? Banc of America analyst Eric Brown recently suggested that solar will soon follow the trend of ethanol stocks, where attractive valuations can be trumped by deteriorating industry fundamentals. Several analysts have criticized the Banc of America note, arguing that solar stocks will continue to shine.

Looking for a Way to Escape the R-Word? Try ze German Solar Stocks!
Written by Eben Esterhuizen   
Recent economic data shows that German industrial production, exports and retail sales unexpectedly declined toward the end of 2007, suggesting that growth in Europe's powerhouse economy is slowing. Exports are clearly suffering from the stronger euro, but very few analysts predict a German recession. German exports are unlikely to fall off a cliff, as Asian demand for the country's exports is still healthy. Also, it's important to note that less than 9% of Germany's exports go to the United States, so its direct exposure to an American slowdown is modest. Germany had no property bubble, and German businesses and its consumers have been prudent about debt.
Will a Recession Lead to a Solar Depression?
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Written by Eben Esterhuizen   

Investors have been fretting about a U.S. recession for months, and recent polls suggest a heightened level of economic anxiety among Americans. Assuming that we go into a mild recession, is this the time for solar investors to jump ship? To the contrary - a recession might provide some attractive opportunities in the solar sector


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